Wayland scores final seven points, tops SAGU
Tied at 82, Pioneers pull upset, 89-82
Cold-shooting Lions can't offset 39 to 13 in free throws
Read Coach Bostwick's post-game comments on Friday
PLAINVIEW, Texas -- No. 1 Southwestern Assemblies of God University met a resolute Wayland Baptist University team determined to bounce back after three straight heart-breaking losses. The host Pioneers broke an 82-82 tie with 1:33 to play by scoring the game’s final seven points to defeat SAGU, 89-82, at the Hutcherson Center.
The Lions’ 11-game winning streak and 9-0 start in the Sooner Athletic Conference came to an end.
At 16-2 the team’s stay at No. 1 will surely be short-lived, though all of SAGU’s goals remain intact.
Wayland Baptist, now 13-5 and 4-4 in the SAC, improved their home record to 10-0. They had fallen 75-71, 82-81 in overtime and 102-99 in the previous week.
The Pioneers built a 36-22 lead as their defense restricted the Lions to a season-low 25% accuracy (11 of 44) in the first half.
The game witnessed several scoring runs by the Lions, each time threatening to take the lead. Each was answered by the hosts.
When the Pioneers assembled a 75-60 lead with 6:09 to play, it appeared they had weathered the Pride’s storm.
But approaching was another Purple Rising approaching.
In the SAGU up-roar they ripped the nets from downtown four times; twice by junior Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian ), and once apiece from senior Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Trinity Chr CH, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) and junior Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS ).
There was a wide open Rambo jumper and three layups; by junior Caleb Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Chr-Addison, Ranger College ) and a pair from Rambo. 'Bo's last came when he split two defenders and layed in a circus scoop shot.
Caleb Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS, Ok Wesleyan Univ ), Rambo and Guidry were dishing dimes and the team was ringing up the 'points register.'
After forcing a Pioneers turnover, Rambo raced upcourt, eschewed a pass to the corner, and netted the equalizer. His sweet kiss off the window from 15-feet out knotted the score at 82.
SAGU had made 7-of-11 shots in a 22-7 surge.
Wayland surely felt like Rob Thomas’ line, “This is how a heart breaks.”
But after coming up sort in their three previous setbacks, they would finish what they started.
During SAGU's run, Wayland had gotten off just one (missed) shot and coughed up seven turnovers. Only a 7-of-10 effort from the charity stripe saved them.
On their next possession senior guard Barry Johnson drove to the right block only to have his shot blocked by Walter. However, a foul was called instead, Walter’s fifth.
Johnson made the first free throw with 1:08 to go. He missed the second but wound up with the rebound. He spotted Markus Monroe with a pass. His driving layup pushed the lead to 85-82 (0:52).
The Lions' former hot hands triggered five attempts at triples in the last minute. All went begging.
The Pioneers salted away an impressive upset at the foul line.
Though the crowd was relatively small (400), they flooded the court to celebrate with the team.
Such is the underneath side of being ranked at the top.
SAGU’s modus operandi was clearly evident; solid defense, forcing turnovers, crashing the offensive boards, knocking down three-pointers and taking more shots than their opponents.
But they weren't enough on this night.
Despite being outscored in basket points, 72-62, Wayland countered all of the Lions keys by making 27 of 39 free throws. SAGU was only 10 of 13.
The more physical Pioneers did win the battle for rebounds, 55-46, as neither team shot particularly well. It enabled them to hold the lead despite SAGU enjoying a huge advantage in shots attempted 88 to 61.
The Lions owned a 14-10 edge in three pointers and a 21-16 upper hand on the offensive glass.
SAGU forced 17 turnovers while making only nine (four in the second half).
SAGU had nine of eleven players produce points, three reaching double digit. Rambo contributed 22 and racked up six assists.
Feemster racked up 18 points, including four treys, grabbed six boards and made four steals. Gentry accounted for 12 and three trifectas.
Guidry and Walter had eight and seven points respectively. Both fouled out. Guidry also had four assists in 14 minutes.
Junior guard Andre Crear (Ft Worth, Tx / Trimble Tech HS, Angelina College ) made a solid showing with eight boards in nine minutes.
Three Upcoming Games
The Lions will be back in action on Monday when they travel to northwestern Arkansas to face Ecclesia (ECK-less-SEE-ya) College in Springdale. The Royals are 4-13.
Next Thursday, January 30, SAGU is at second place Oklahoma City University (10-6 / 6-3 in SAC).
The Lions return home on Saturday, February 1, when they entertain Southwestern Christian University at 5:00pm.
WBU Website’s Account: http://www.wbuathletics.com/news/2014/1/23/MBB_0123145827.aspx?path=mbball
SAC Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/
SPECIAL THANKS to the WBU Sports Information Office and S.I.D. Kevin Lewis and Assistant S.I.D. Calvin Bass for photos in this article. Photographer - Joe Morales.